Wednesday, October 10, 2007

CATALYST CONFERENCE (PART 3)

Here are a couple more takeaways from last week's Catalyst Conference.

Craig Groeschel

Craig is founder of lifechurch.tv, a new way of doing church. Home base is in Oklahoma. The services are satellite fed to ten cites in the U.S. Because of its innovative approach to doing church, Lifechurch.tv finds itself on lists of the largest, fastest growing, and most innovative churches in America. His topic was practical atheism.

  • A practical atheist is someone who believes God exists but lives as though He doesn't exist.

  • He shared from his own experience how doing the work of God was destroying the work of God in Him.

  • Three problems with practical atheism: (1) I start to believe my effort is greater than God's power. I think it's all about me. (2) I believe my private life doesn't affect my public ministry. (3) I believe I must please people more than please God. My question becomes, "What can I preach to bring people in?" and not, "What can I preach to bring glory to God?"

  • To overcome these three temptations, our prayer must become: God, disturb me.

Dave Ramsey

Dave is a NY Times Best-selling Author and national radio host. He's best known for his Financial Peace University. This is the first time I've heard him speak--excellent communicator.

  • Basically, he was telling young leaders how important it is to have a written budget and to get out of debt. I won't bore you with his outline. But I think his definition of prosperity is worth repeating: Prosperity is having the money to do God's will in your life.

  • Interesting observation he shared from a pastor: Tithers never divorce. Why? Because givers are unselfish and get along with others better.

  • What could the people of God do for the kingdom of God if they were debt-free?

  • Pastors would do well to preach less on tithing and more on how to plan finances and get out of debt.

Andy Stanley

Andy's final talk was worth the price of admission. He talked about building systems. There's no way to do justice to his talk with just a few bullets, but here goes.

  • There are organizational systems that are conducive to ministry and organziational systems that impede ministry.

  • There are organizational systems that free leaders to lead and organizational systems that obstruct leaders.

  • Systems defined: Your organization's approach to getting things done.

  • Systems create behavior. Example: Why is it that you can hit a grand slam on a five-week series of sermons on the family, but there is no noted change in people's lives? It's because there is no system in place to facilitate and prompt the change.

  • What is rewarded, people will do. The problem is that we tend to reward the wrong things.

  • Systems have a greater impact on organizational culture than do mission statements.

  • The New Testament does not present us with a comprehensive system or model. We learn what the early church did. But the Bible doesn't really tell us what church leaders need to do. Therefore we must distinguish what is descriptive and what is prescriptive.

  • We cannot have a first century church today because we are not living in the first century. The first century used the systems that was best for them. Churches today need to determine the systems that work best for them.

  • Congregational rule is not biblical. The times congregational rule was practiced, disaster resulted: Joseph's brothers voted to throw him in the pit; the people of God built a golden calf; they decided to appoint a king instead of following the prophet.

  • 4 system imperatives: (1) Your system should allow you to involve and hire the best person for the job. (2) Your system should provide you with the flexibility to get the right people to the table. (3) Your system should allow you to make complex decisions within the context of a small group of empowered individuals. (4) Your system should ensure that only one person answers to "they". ("they" would be the elders, deacons, leadership team, or whatever)







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